A Walk Along Victoria Lines West and Chadwick Lakes

Binġemma and Chadwick Lakes
A walk to the Chadwick Lakes and back along the western part of the Victoria Lines, starting from the chapel Madonna ta’ Hodegitria, Binġemma. (Click on the map for added detail.)

Today I wanted to share another lovely walk, that I repeated last weekend after a gap of a few years. It’s not a long walk, but not a short one either, at just under five miles. It has to its advantage that the walk itself is rather easy, with no scrambling required at any point, and about half its length on paved country roads. However, the walk still packs considerable interest, visiting two country chapels, a good length of the Victoria Lines fortification wall, and a popular section of the Chadwick Lakes, a 19th century series of small dams meant to contain water for irrigation. While the walk has a non-negligible elevation gain, the path is not steep so should not be an obstacle.

Start Chapel Madonna ta’ Hodegitria, Binġemma
Distance 7.6km
Elevation gain 323m
Approximate time 2hr
Parking At start
Terrain Country paths, narrow country roads, sections of rough paths along old fortification walls (mostly avoidable)

Disclaimer: While I have made every effort to describe the route faithfully, I can take no responsibility for any inaccuracies. Additionally, be aware that when walking in the countryside your safety is your responsibility, and if you do not feel confident navigating a tricky section there is no shame in turning back.

  1. Starting from the chapel (marked with a parking symbol on the map), head south-east (uphill) on the country road.
  2. Where the road intersects with another, keep straight ahead.
  3. Eventually, the road passes by another country chapel (on the left as you walk down), dedicated to the Nativity of the Virgin Mary (Twelid tal-Verġni Marija).
  4. Past the chapel, on reaching a bridge, take a narrow (and initially rather indistinct) path to the left of the bridge that heads into the woodland.
  5. The path quickly becomes clear and easy to follow, along (and somewhat above) the flooded river valley. This is part of the Chadwick Lakes, and the walk passes by a number of small dams. Eventually, the paths merges into a walkway resembling a canal tow-path.
  6. On reaching a second bridge across the rivulet, a country path leads left and uphill. Take this path, initially paved (but rather broken), and soon becoming a muddy narrow path among fields.
  7. Follow this path all the way until it intersects with a paved country road. On the way the path passes by Il-Qolla, a promontory of rock that rises among the fields to the right.
  8. On reaching the road, turn right and follow the road as it passes above the fields. Views to the right keep the interest.
  9. When the road takes a sharp right turn through a fortification wall (actually part of the Victoria Lines), leave the road, continuing to head straight uphill past council signage on a clear and wide path.
  10. The path turns left, following the Victoria Lines to the west. Here you have two options:
    1. Keep following this main path, past a number of former military buildings and picnic areas.
    2. Past a cluster of buildings, on the right, walk to the top of the wall (just a couple steps from this side) and follow a narrow path along the top of the wall. The path is clear throughout, but watch your step if you take this option.
  11. Eventually both paths converge at a section of wall on a promontory with the Binġemma chapel visible in the distance. Enjoy the views, then head left, following the wall (there is really no other option) until this leads down a sloping path to a bridge. Cross the bridge and climb the broken path at the other end.
  12. On reaching the road again, head right back to the chapel and your starting point.

A gallery below shows a number of photos I have taken from sections of this walk or very nearby. Click on any of these photos to see it larger, and from there you can navigate easily to see the others.

8 thoughts on “A Walk Along Victoria Lines West and Chadwick Lakes

  1. A really enjoyable post.Infirmative script and superb images.One of my favourite stretches of the entire fortified line.The map was particularly useful.Thank you for sharing

    1. Thanks Alex! The wall goes pretty much all along the width of Malta, dividing the island in two. I’d really like to really the whole length some day. It isn’t that long, should be doable in a day, but I’ll need to figure out how to connect the whole thing. I’ve walked bits of it, but not the whole length yet.

      Photo 1415 was a stroke of luck. After making a few photos of the chapel, as I was starting again on my way, a classic car drove past. Then another. So I walked a few steps back, and waited for the next…

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